Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
The Arrows Cookbook : Cooking and Gardening from Maine's Most Beautiful Farmhouse Restaurant
Tower, Jeremiah (Foreword)
Gaier, Mark (Photographer)
Kernick, John (Photographer)
Published: June 3, 2003
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Located in Ogunquit, Maine, Arrows is a country restaurant owned by Clark Fraiser and Mark Gaier, who are also its chefs. The Arrows Cookbook, written by the pair, offers 150 recipes from the dining spot, contemporary food like Plank-Roasted
Salmon with Rosemary-Mustard Vinaigrette, Baby Bok Choy with Chives and Smoked Ham, and Grilled Sea Scallops with Chile Pepper Sauce. These attractive, uncomplicated dishes are suitable for company or "dressier" weeknight cooking. What sets the book
apart from similar works is its attention to the "backyard" garden that supplies the restaurant with over 250 varieties of fresh seasonal produce. The authors' garden smarts yields useful advice, including "How to Build Herb Boxes," "14 Easy Seeds," and
The authors make a larger point. "You don't have to believe in the cosmic wisdom of cooking from the garden," they say. "It's enough that your garden will make you smarter about food." Cooking seasonally from the garden "has
kept our culinary experimentation firmly rooted," they add, "and will do the same for you." The message is born out by the book's organization, which presents dishes--soup to desserts--season by the season. The winter section, for example, begins with a
brief description of Arrows's cold-weather life ("Hardy herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme are still thriving in our garden beds at Thanksgiving...") then offers appropriate fare including Maine Shrimp Dumplings with Cilantro, Boiled Dinner Our Way (a
particularly good version of the traditional dish), and Kale, Swiss Cheese, and Bacon Casserole. "Winter" desserts consist of the tempting likes of Steamed Pumpkin Pudding with Vanilla Crème Anglaise and Chocolate Carrot Cake with Chocolate-Sour Cream
Frosting. As both cooking and gardening guide, the book occupies a special--and engaging--spot. With color photos plus line drawings that particularly capture Arrows' special spirit. --Arthur Boehm
primer, The Arrows Cookbook combines more than 150 delicious recipes with time-tested techniques for growing herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers in a book that reconnects us to the land and the seasons.
Cooking food from the backyard garden or
farmers' market -- or even using herbs grown in pots in a sunny window -- goes beyond a passion for freshness. On an elemental level, the process reawakens the cook to a cycle of nature that our ancestors understood intuitively but that, for most of us,
has been lost in the modern world.
When chefs Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier left northern California to open their dream restaurant in southern Maine, they had no intention of becoming culinary pioneers. But in 1988 in Ogunquit, Maine, finding
enough fresh vegetables and herbs to power a sophisticated restaurant was indeed a challenge.
So, like all can-do Americans, they did something. A ragged field of witchgrass behind the restaurant was turned into a garden where they learned to
coax a nine-month growing season out of the chilly earth. They built raised beds, saved seeds, researched heirlooms, consulted experts, and started seedlings.
Today, that acre of Maine yields 270 varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and edible
flowers that provide 90 percent of the produce served at Arrows. Born of great necessity, the garden is the soul of this destination restaurant.
In The Arrows Cookbook, Frasier and Gaier tell us how they do it, charting the timeless journey from
seed to supper. Recipes celebrate each season -- Asparagus with Mizuna and Blood Orange Vinaigrette and English Pea Soup in spring; Grilled Antipasto Platter and Rib-Eye Steak with Herbs and Caramelized Onions on a summer evening; Napa Cabbage and Apple
Cole Slaw and Roast Pork Loin with Rosemary and Garlic for fall; and Escarole and White Bean Soup and Winter Greens with Pink Grapefruit and Red Onion for the chilly, short days of winter. They also offer new takes on such New England classics as Boiled
Dinner, Our Way to Steaming Lobster -- Southeast Asian Style, as well as a glorious Thanksgivi
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